Westlaw is providing an exciting update to your law school account on Wednesday, 01/11/23:
Westlaw Precision is an update to Westlaw Edge. Your account will automatically convert to this update and you do not need to do anything. The update will include a new interface and new features. The underlying content of the subscription (secondary sources, primary law, news) will remain the same.
Brief History of Updates
Westlaw’s research database has experienced several updates in the last 20 years:
- Westlaw Next (2010)
- Westlaw Edge (2018)
- Westlaw Precision (2023)
With each update comes a new interface and new features that are designed to help legal researchers find the information they need.
New Features, Similar Feeling
The new interface for Westlaw Precision will feel comfortable for those familiar with Westlaw Edge. The big difference you will notice on the homepage is the Precision Research feature. Otherwise, you will see the same content categories available.
The Precision Search is focused on curated, highly litigated, civil topics like Commercial law, Federal Civil Procedure, Federal Discovery and Evidence, Federal Remedies, Federal Class Actions, Employment, Securities, and Anti-trust. Training videos are available for your viewing pleasure on the homepage.
“With Precision Research Thomson Reuters is doubling down on the 150 year old West legacy of human curated taxonomy. In order to build the product, they hired 250 lawyer topical specialists to focus, curate, and tag opinions with facts and procedural outcomes. They also interviewed practitioners to help them identify the most common litigation issues in specific types of controversies.”Jean O’Grady, https://www.deweybstrategic.com/, September 14, 2022
Right now, this feature only covers a limited range of civil topics but Westlaw will be adding topics and content to this resource as the database matures.
Other Useful New Features
In addition to the Precision Research feature, you will see new filters when you run searches in Westlaw Precision. Westlaw Precision has added useful filters like “Fact pattern,” “Motion type,” “Cause of action,” and many more to the left-hand pane in your search results.
In addition, there are new content categories available once you have selected a case from your results list, for example “Cited With” will show you common citation patterns from opinions and pleadings where your selected case is frequently cited with others.
Finally, and perhaps my favorite feature, is the ability to “Add to Keep List” in your results list. This feature works in any portion of the database and allows you to “keep” selected items to a dynamic outline. This can help researchers to build their research trail and also prevent you from seeing the same items over and over again in your searches (since you will easily see what you have already reviewed).
Westlaw Precision provides enhanced, detailed descriptions of results and you can toggle an arrow to hide this information for cases that you have already seen – decluttering your results list so that you can quickly identify new cases.
These are just the highlights of some of the new features that will be available to the ASU Law community on your accounts starting Wednesday, January 11th. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to the Ross-Blakley Law Librarians for individual training or a Group Research Training session for you and your journal or club.